HOW TO PREP FOR LEAVING YOUR TODDLER.
Glancing at the above sheet makes you feel at least a little bad for my in-laws, doesn't it? Dealing with me for a daughter-in-law and my neurosis with organization probably puts them right into sainthood…seriously. But if you’re a type A mom like me, having that little extra organization when you’re going to be away from your little one is a huge comfort.
If you noticed that I’ve been a little MIA on here for the last month (oh my gosh it’s been over a month! Eek, I’m sorry…unacceptable), it’s because life just got extra hectic. Husby and I are tying up the final loose ends before building our new house, and I’m in prime travel season for work right now. But the latter of the two reasons is what prompted me to write this post to share some of my timesaving tips on prepping for your toddler when you’re going to be away.
I have this annoying trait where I feel so.bad inconveniencing people. Obviously going out of town for five nights means someone is going to be inconvenienced (especially with Husby joining me on this specific trip), so I never want to make it seem like I expect the world out of anyone. Agreeing to care for a very opinionated toddler is enough of a commitment; expecting them to also plan all her meals for that time period just seems like too much to ask.
Since I’m gone roughly once a month on some type of trip right now, here are some tricks of the trade to plan a full week’s worth of food in just a few hours.
This neat little trick of baking eggs isn’t all that new anymore, but it still is all that awesome.
Preheat the oven to 350, spray a muffin tin with cooking spray, put an egg in each muffin holder, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add spinach to some if you’d like.
Bake for 15 minutes and voilà! They slide right out and are perfect for reheating the rest of the week.
Adelyn’s breakfast usually consists of eggs, whole-wheat pancakes or toast and some type of fruit. This makes my requirement for protein in her breakfast easy for whoever is taking care of her while I’m gone—I don’t have to feel bad asking anyone to take the time to scramble an egg every day!
Veggie and whole grain noodles are a godsend because there are few things as easy to feed a toddler as noodles. These specific noodles are even easier because they come in zoo and travel themes so the shapes make Adelyn excited about them
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The other great part about noodles is how easy they are to add things too. Either pre-mix a bowl of cooked noodles with corn or peas and add cheese and milk to it for a creamy mac & cheese with veggies, or buy a low-sodium, organic pasta sauce with shredded cheese to top it off. Both options are easy to warm up and provide a great meal that’s easy to pack in advance.
Fruit/yogurt parfaits are another easy addition to finalize that well-rounded meal. Blackberries have been at great prices around here lately, so I package them under some nonfat, plain greek yogurt. Adelyn acts like she’s eating dessert, and I’m happy with what she’s filling herself with. The natural fruit sweetens up the plain yogurt, so there’s no need to buy flavored yogurt that has artificial sugars added to it!
Two words: Slow Cooker.
Toss a couple chicken breasts in the slow cooker, add ½ cup water, sprinkle Italian seasoning over the chicken and cook on low for 6 hours. Minimal cleanup, easy to shred, and you have your toddler’s dinners for the week set, paired with two big pieces of ravioli.
Adelyn loves the spinach and cheese ravioli, and they’re such a cost-savings dinner option to give her with shredded chicken on the side. When I’m gone I just make sure I have enough of them precooked and portioned off with the shredded chicken for easy-to-grab dinners to rewarm and serve.
My favorite part about this post is remembering all that prep and then, because it was all complete by mid-morning (other than the chicken cooking in the slow cooker), remembering I got to have brunch with my late-waking 21-month-old. If this smile doesn’t confirm she likes the eggs this way, I don’t know what does!
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MARCH 3, 2015 BY HEATHER ANDERS
He doesn’t worry whether the top of her sippy cup matches the bottom, just that she has milk in her glass.
He doesn’t worry about if the onesie he put on under her outfit for the day matches the rest, just that she has one on to keep her bare stomach from feeling the cold winter air.
He doesn’t worry about if her meal consists of a little of each food group in it, just that she’s fed.
He doesn’t notice the last of the yogurt is gone, just that she had some for lunch that day.
He doesn’t notice her blanket is dirty, just that she has it to soothe her for naps and bedtime.
He doesn’t worry about the dishes in the sink or the unwashed sippy cup, just that he’s engaged in playtime with her..... [Continue reading...]
FEBRUARY 23, 2015 BY HEATHER ANDERS
This post is in affiliation with C9 by Champion sold at Target. All opinions are my own.
First things first, it's COLD here right now. I'm talking regular temps in the negatives with wind chill advisories on top of that. I've grown up in the Midwest and while I prefer the heat, I can handle the cold. Except for this. This is just ridiculous.
So when I was offered the opportunity to review the C9 by Champion winter, outdoor running line, I was a liiiiiiiittle apprehensive about it. And I'm not going to lie that I was incredibly hopeful it would warm up a bit before actually testing the line. But it didn't, so it was literally so.cold when we took these pictures (Husby said I should have screenshot the temp on my weather app!).
The thing that surprised me was that these workout pieces really are warm. The "feels like" temp according to my weather app was negative 17 degrees... [Continue reading...]
FEBRUARY 17, 2015 BY HEATHER ANDERS
It's not often we get a full day where all three of us get to spend time together. Between my travel schedule and Husby's recording studio, our time with all three of us together for any extended time period, much less a full day, is almost nonexistent. So it was a true Valentine's treat to have this day devoted to the three of us together.
And it was such a perfect day.
It's amazing to see that there really is a difference in Adelyn's demeanor when we're both present all.day. She voluntarily stopped to give each of us hugs and kisses so many times throughout the day that we realized we need to really prioritize planning in full family days a little more often.
9:30 a.m | Parade of Homes & meet with builder
11:00 a.m. | Valentine's cookie at local bakery
FEBRUARY 13, 2015 BY HEATHER ANDERS
For the last couple of months I’ve been getting A LOT of requests on how I do my hair to get the kind of beachy, flowing waves you see in a lot of my pictures. I’ve tried to explain it through messages to some people and verbally to others, and it apparently I must be really bad at it because almost everyone has come back asking me for a better explanation (I’m sorry!!!).
So, here’s a video showing you how I do it. It’s so easy and takes LESS THAN 10 MINUTES once you get the hang of it. Yes, this is a fact!
Ok, so here are a few extra tips to help you.
1. I’m using this curling wand. It’s amazing and it’s cheap.
2. I wash my hair at night, let it air dry and sleep on it. I don’t use a blow dryer.